Assassin’s Creed Mirage is a strange concept in the gaming world. While the keyword in the latest Assassin’s Creed games has always been “more,” Mirage now boldly says “less.” Smaller game world, less RPG elements, shorter story, etc. Surprisingly, this is exactly what the series needs.
After fifteen years, twelve games, and a whole host of time periods and locations, Assassin’s Creed returns to its roots in the Middle East. We play as a young man by the name of Ben Ishak, who Valhalla players may remember. Mirage was originally created as an extension of that game, but is now a completely standalone experience. The DNA of Valhalla is clearly evident while playing, but at the same time Mirage feels more like a classic Assassin’s Creed experience.
This time, the events no longer take place on a giant global map, but rather the game focuses on one city. The field of service is Baghdad in the golden age of Islam. You can also explore the surrounding desert and some small settlements. This also translates to a less crowded map. There is still some Map markers Where are your treasures? Collectibles Or short side missions can be discovered but there are not many. It may seem paradoxical, but such a small map is a real relief. After an hour of playing you will feel like you have made progress.
“Baghdad Mirage” also looks lively. NPCs walk around, perform small actions, or chat with each other. City criers spread the Caliph’s messages on every street corner. Loud prayer sounds are regularly heard from mosques. Players who remember the old games will instantly feel at home. The city is missing the unique touches that made cities in Assassin’s Creed II, for example, so memorable. Most of them are like that Point of views, Point of views The one you climb to reveal the surrounding area on your map, which is the same recycled tower.
Mirage wants players to experience the Assassin fantasy again, after it had been somewhat watered down in previous games. You can sneak and climb in “Valhalla” or “Odyssey,” but it’s often easier to attack your enemies head-on. This is completely different in the Mirage. The main character, Bassem, is primarily an assassin, not a warrior. Mirage encourages you to stay hidden and defeat your enemies in creative ways. After enough stealth assassinations, you can use Assassin’s Focus, where you can quickly eliminate a series of enemies without being detected. It’s not very realistic, but it’s very useful and above all very cool.
If you prefer to fight with your enemy, this is still possible. However, Basem does not have the same skills as Eivor or Cassandra (the main characters of Valhalla and Odyssey). The timing and placement of your attacks and counterattacks are now more important. You’re also more vulnerable than in previous games, with much more limited exposure Health potions Bassem returns to his feet.
Mirage still contains some RPG elements. You can equip Basim with other weapons or clothing, all of which are also upgradeable and have unique effects. She still wins, too Skill pointswhich you can then invest in one of three clearly defined areas Skill trees. Each upgrade also has a unique effect, making you excited when you unlock a new upgrade.
You can unlock these skill points at key points in the story. You follow Bassem in his younger years, before he goes to medieval Norway. The plot is very simple: even players who have never played Assassin’s Creed can follow without any problems. The more obscure aspects of the Assassin world are also present, but they are certainly not the main focus. The ending can be a bit confusing for new players, but it serves as a nice bridge to Valhalla, without spoiling the events of that game.
Then there is the presentation. On current generation consoles, just like with Valhalla, you can choose between performance mode or graphics mode. The former maintains 60fps without any issues, even at the busiest times in Baghdad. Both modes look good too, but don’t expect a generational jump compared to Valhalla’s look. Some aspects could have been tweaked a little more, for example, the camera work during conversations. Not a bad word for the voice work, but the beautiful soundtrack certainly could have been more prominent.